Dead-trees books and online books
I buy books like nobody’s business, at least 10 a month. But I don’t read all of them. Most, I just read a few chapters, and that’s all I need. If I’m not enjoying it, engaged, and learning, I skip ahead or put it down entirely.
The latest book I laid my hands on was Crucial Conversations, and from the little I’ve read in it so far, it seems like it would be an amazing 50-page e-book. Isn’t that true of so many books? It really doesn’t required 250 pages to communicate what they have to say. Yet to justify printing, stocking, and selling a book, with all the profits that have to be made up the food chain, you can’t really sell a 50-page book.
Yet the truth is that the customer would be better served by having the same content delivered in 50 pages, because then we wouldn’t have to wade through another 200 to find the nuggets.
So thankfully, with ebooks or PDFs, publishing a 50-page book is fine, and you can charge, say, $10 or $20 for it, and it’s still a great deal for the customer looking for help on a challenge she’s facing right here and now, and it should be cheaper to write and review than 250 pages, too.
I hope to see a lot more of this, and I hope that more authors will see past the supposed requirements to write real, full-length books, and offer more of what the market really demands.